The makers of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Chef Boyardee canned pasta, Oreo cookies and Snickers bars are joining forces to combat ... obesity.
That's right. Nestle USA, ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods Inc. and Mars Inc. -- along with the Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., Hershey Co., Sara Lee Corp. and other giant food manufacturers -- announced Monday the launch of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. The goal of the initiative is to reduce obesity, particularly in children, by an unspecified amount over the next six years.
Instead, the emphasis is on the notion of "energy balance." Regardless of what you eat, you'll gain weight if the number of calories consumed is greater than the number of calories burned through exercise and other activities. As David Mackay, chairman of the foundation's board, put it, children and adults could do a better job of balancing their "calories in and calories out."
It's a convenient message for Mackay, who is also the president and chief executive of Pop-Tarts, Cheez-It and Keebler cookie-maker Kellogg Co.
A handful of large grocers are also part of the new coalition, which has pledged $20 million to the don't-necessarily-eat-less-but-definitely-exercise-more effort.
As one skeptical consumer commented on a CBC News Web site: "$20M doesn't seem like very much for these huge companies. What is that, like 6 Super Bowl commercials?"
The foundation also includes several nonprofits, such as the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition Foundation, PE4life and the American Dietetic Association Foundation.
Food-Makers Join Obesity Battle
The goal of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundationis to reduce obesity, particularly in children, by an unspecified amount over the next six years.
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